Neeraj Chopra became the toast of the nation after he clinched gold in javelin throw at the recently-concluded Gold Coast Commonwealth Games with a terrific throw of 86.47 metres. Neeraj achieved the medal under German coach Werner Daniels, but it looks like the association might come to an end due to Athletics Federation of India (AFI).
Adille Sumariwalla, the president of AFI, came out saying that he's against the decision of Neeraj training in Germany. "How does Neeraj know what is good for him? We know all the training centres, we know all the coaches. How can a 20-year-old boy know, we have 20 years of experience,” Sumariwalla was quoted saying it to The Hindu.
This could be mean that Neeraj will have to train with a new coach ahead of the Asian Games this year, his third in a span of one year.
Neeraj's Commonwealth Games exploits made him only the fourth Indian in the history of the CWG to win a track and field gold. He first came to limelight when he smashed the junior world record in javelin throw at the 2016 IAAF World U20 Championships.
Daniels earlier coached former world champion Christina Obergfoll. He's also part of the team of current javelin world champion Johannes Vetter, who is coached by Obergfoll’s husband Boris.
Besides involving with Daniels, Neeraj also trained under India’s javelin throw head coach Uwe Hohn, the only man to have crossed the 100-metre mark in the sport. According to a Indian Express report last month, Hohn was unhappy with AFI not fulfilling his demands. One of the demands was about Neeraj's commitment to train under Hohn and not going to Germany.
"It won’t be right on my part to leave without seeing out my contract. I don’t want to do that because the Olympics is just two years away and it will disrupt the training schedule of Indian athletes. But if Neeraj is going to train in Germany what is the point of me being the Indian coach? If I am not able to help Neeraj cross 90 metres then there is no point in me being here. But I can only coach him if he remains in the national camp and is open to training with me,” Hohn said.
Neeraj later returned from Germany to attend the national camp under Hohn.
No doubt Neeraj is a bright prospect for India, a world-class athlete who has the potential to bring an Olympic medal. AFI and Neeraj should try to solve the issue as soon as possible considering the Asian Games will start in the month of August.
Updated Date: Apr 17, 2018 13:57 PM